* Congratulations, Maureen, on achieving a coveted place in Undiscovered Voices 2012! and welcome to tall tales & short stories.
The floor is yours, please tell us all about yourself, your writing journey and anything else you'd like to add.
This is a difficult question so I shall interview myself...
Maureen, what do you love?
My family - one husband, two grown ups, no pets.
Stories - even on the kindle, how shocking! Laughing. Dancing. People - especially writers and illustrators. Writing. Drawing. Being in SCBWI.
Maureen, what do you hate?
Mean and judgemental people - Well, I don’t hate them exactly; I just think it’s a shame for them. They miss such a lot of fun. Bless them.
Not knowing instantly how to use some new technology – why can’t it be downloaded into my brain like on the Matrix? Hm? Why not?
I did hate yoghurts once upon a time, but I love them now.
Maureen, why do you write?
I want to read my books to children – see below.
* Could you tell our readers all about your winning entry and why they are going to love it!
As a teacher, I loved the three-way link between the reader, the children and the story and sometimes, if the book was good, it was like being a conductor of children’s emotions. Magic. My writer’s journey began after I left primary schools to work on Action Words, my reading scheme. (For more info on Action Words, you can read a tall tales & short stories interview with Maureen here)
I attempted to write picture books only to discover how hard it was! I was rejected – lots – but I had no idea how good the rejections were. I had no idea that a handwritten rejection explaining why I was being rejected was a good thing. I had no idea that a very encouraging phone call from a reader (they had readers in those days) was unusual. I had no idea that so many rejections was normal. So I stopped writing picture books. If only I had had SCBWI then! I would have KNOWN!
So then, I meandered for years, up to YA, down to early readers, and around the middle grade. Until a meeting at Harper Collins when the editor said – focus! So I did. I went home, spread all of my slushpile on the table and walked up and down. Then stopped as I realised something. I smiled as I went past some stories and not at others. Aha! A clue! Apparently, I’m meant to write silly stories about trolls, and frogs, and princesses, not gritty reality. So I have. It's called To Destiny or Death! And it’s fun.
I’ve always taken great comfort from knowing that the amazingly talented David Almond wrote for twenty years before being published as a children’s author. If Undiscovered Voices helps me to publication, I’ll be nine years ahead of him. Ah, if only he’d had SCBWI.
...WIN a copy of Undiscovered Voices, by Working Partners & SCWBI-BI.
Your chance to read all the selected excerpts, see the fabulous illustrations
and read what the judges had to say!
WE HAVE TWO COPIES TO GIVE AWAY!
It’s easy to enter -- Here's what to do!
• Leave a comment on the blog; say hi, leave your name and tell us if you'd like to be entered for the draw.
If you want to leave your email address that's great, if not, we'll be announcing the winners after midday on the 1st March, UK time. So make sure to check in here and on twitter.
All entries go into a hat and TWO winners will be chosen at random.
Sorry, but this competition is open to UK entrants only.
Midnight 29th February 2012, UK time.